Faculty Advisor

Nick Kontogeorgopoulos

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2021


There is well researched data pointing the fact that international community service, or more commonly, volunteer tourism, has a generally negative impact on communities abroad (Wearing & McGehee 2013, 121). Typically, young adults from middle or upper middle income families will travel in large groups to a developing country in the hopes of producing a meaningful service project. There is sufficient research that agrees on the negative impact of volunteer tourism trips, but much of this research is focused upon the communities abroad rather than the impact that is taken on by the volunteers (Zahra & McIntosh 2007, 115). Community involvement and service learning are growing in popularity and becoming integral in nation-wide K-12 curriculum models (Youniss, Yates & McLellan 1997, 623). Not only are young people today less likely to engage in their communities, but there has become a growing desire for young people to become ‘global citizens’ in such a way that will benefit their career in the long run (de Andriotti & Oliveira 2014, 21). There is undeniable room for personal growth within volunteer tourism experiences, and if done correctly, these experiences can have long lasting, positive impacts on individuals and their communities. With this is mind, we can explore the relationship between short term youth international service work and long term community involvement.


Vasilius Research Grant


University of Puget Sound